A Pre-purchase condition and valuation (C&V) survey is intended to provide the buyer with the detailed information that they need to make an informed purchase decision. The survey report is often used as a tool to negotiate specific repairs with the seller and/or a change in the purchase price. A Pre-purchase C&V survey report is also used to satisfy bank and insurance company survey requirements. At the end of the survey, a debrief is conducted with the buyer to go over the survey findings and to answer any questions while still on the vessel.
A Pre-purchase survey is a very thorough inspection of the hull and deck structures; equipment and machinery; as well as fuel, plumbing and electrical systems. The survey typically takes three to six hours for an average 30’ – 45’ vessel. This includes inspection of the vessel both out of the water and in the water, plus sea trial, on the same day. Operating systems and equipment are tested to determine if they operate in a normal manner, including propulsion engines, AC generator, air conditioning, galley equipment, electronics, etc. The hull and decks are inspected using hammer percussion soundings and moisture meters to check for delamination of fiberglass composite laminates, relative moisture in a hull bottom, and elevated moisture in structural core materials. The internal structures are visually inspected for any signs of deterioration or failure.
The engines are tested during a sea trial to check their wide open throttle RPM ranges, cooling system temperatures and alternator outputs. Oil pressure, Engine RPM, temperature and voltage is monitored using the vessel’s gauges. Visual inspection is used to determine fluid levels, presence of leaks, excess vibration, and exhaust smoke.
A Pre-purchase survey does not include: compression testing of machinery; oil analysis; internal inspection or pressure testing of tanks; destructive analysis of hull and deck structures; or invasive inspection of hidden spaces or inaccessible areas. Hardware and fastenings are not removed for evaluation. Navigation instruments are not tested for accuracy. Limitations of inspection sometimes include an inability to test equipment and systems that have been decommissioned for winter storage.
It is always the option of the buyer to have the engines and AC generator further evaluated by a mechanic that is factory certified for that specific equipment. It is somewhat common and strongly recommended that vessels such as motor yachts, sportfish, and trawlers with large diesel engines have a separate mechanical survey due to the potential high cost of repair of hidden engine problems.
Usually Insurance companies will require a survey every two years for older boats. An insurance survey consists of evaluating the vessels risk for insurance underwriters with particular focus on the structural integrity of the vessel, safety and suitability for the vessels use as well as determining the fair market value. Essentially, insurance companies are interested in data about the vessel that could cause them to suffer financial loss. So the main focus of the inspection is on things that could cause the vessel to catch fire, blow-up, sink, etc. The information contained in an insurance C&V survey report is not sufficient to make an informed decision regarding the purchase of the vessel. An insurance survey typically takes between two and four hours to complete. The presence of the owner is not required but is encouraged. Whether the vessel is inspected in the water or out of the water is at the discretion of the insurance underwriter. Vessel’s over 20 years old are often required to have an out-of-water survey. The vessel’s fair market value is developed using assumptions about the condition and serviceability of the engines and equipment. If the survey is conducted with the vessel in the water, assumptions are also made about the condition of the hull bottom, through hull fittings, running gear, keel, etc.
Marine surveyors are often called upon to undertake damage surveys and to report on the damage claimed under a hull & machinery policy. Typically the surveyor is hired by the insurance company to investigate claims made by their insureds or by claimants. Sometimes a surveyor is hired by a boat owner to investigate unusual deterioration or damage, especially on newer boats. The purpose of a Marine Damage Survey is to assess the extent of the damage sustained by the hull, rig, systems, or elsewhere on the vessel. The report presents information on the probable causes of the damage, recommendations on repairs, and estimates the costs for such work.
Some of the typical types of damage investigations include:
A damage survey report typically includes:
These are used for financing, estate and divorce settlements, and donation of vessels to charities. Professional marine surveyors are recognized by the IRS, courts, banks and insurance companies as boat and yacht appraisers within their area of expertise.
Prices are based on the length of the vessel
In-the water inspection, out of the water inspection, and a sea-trial. 15-25 page PDF report detailing findings, recommendations, photo's and appraisal. Good for all finance, insurance and pre-purchase related needs. Owner must be present to lake-test the vessel and haul out of water.
Case by Case basis based on what the customer needs.
Call us at 817-688-4673 or Email at Jmseckman@hotmail.com